The Subways – ‘Money & Celebrity’

Cult band The Subways have returned with another edition of their pop/punk inspired music with third album Money & Celebrities, which will be hitting stores next month. Although, it seems that this is not the same Subways the fans fell in love with.

Yes, the line-up is the same and producer Stephen Street has worked on some of the best UK records known to man (The Smiths, Blur & The Cranberries), but there seems something amiss with this one. For one, it lacks the passion and energy the previous two releases had masses of, where fans would scream the lyrics of tracks like ‘Rock & Roll Queen’, ‘Oh Yeah’ and ‘Girls & Boys’ at the top of their lungs. It’s hard to say the fans will the same with Money & Celebrity. They come close several times to emulating their former exploits with ‘I Wanna Dance With You’, ‘Friday’ and ‘Rumour’, but never quite manage to hit the mark.

Don’t get me wrong, the songs are good, a well balanced selection of tracks every album would be lucky to have.  Following the central topic of the rise-and-fall of celebrity, a topic that vexed lead singer and guitarist Billy Lunn when writing the songs in his front room.  Influenced by the reality television we are currently spoon-fed, Billy, along with bassist Charlotte Cooper and drummer Josh Morgan, has concocted an album slating this trend.

Originally writing 50 tracks, producer Stephen Street helped the band cut them down to the final 12.  With similar rifts matching the theme, the record flows a little too easily  into each track.  You have to wonder what sort of style the dropped tracks followed, as something different to mix it up a little might have given the album the life it so needs.

All in all, from where The Subways were, sending CDs out until Glastonbury organizer Michael Eavis invited them to perform at open mic competition at the world famous festival (which they subsequently won), to creating stadium filling music, Money & Celebrity will not really hurt their cause, nor further it for that matter.

From supporting AC/DC at Wembley Stadium and Hampden Park in 2009 and headlining Ringfest in Cologne this year, you know their live performances are pretty special and they have the back catalogue to dish it out. However, it is likely that they will be more reliant on their older tracks until album number four is released, hopefully soon.

The Subways Money & Celebrity was released on the 19th of September.

Words Dean Woodhouse


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